Note: This document is a work in progress. You can help improve it.

Setting up your Development Environment

Over the course the training you will be using a variety of tools. To get started we need the follow software and tools


Slack will be our main form of communication. You will communicate with your instructors and SDG staff via Slack. You will get notifications of homework, links to resources, and be able to ask for help via Slack.

Download it to you computer; if you have a smart phone, I highly recommend installing the app.

Open your browser and download the desktop client for your platform.

Open your phone's application store and install the mobile application and sign in at least once.

You should have received an invitation to several Slack Teams -- SDG maintains two main Slack Teams, one is for students and alumni only and the other is a general Tampa Bay community team that includes over 1,300 members.

Editors / IDEs

IDE stands for Integrated Developer Environment. Developers can be fiercely opinionated about which one is better. Here at SDG, we require using Visual Studio Code.

VS Code is a extendable lightweight editor that allows us to see what is going on so if you ever get the more powerful tools (like Visual Studio or Eclipse). It will not be a crutch, but a tool. This is like starting with a screwdriver, and working our way up to power drill.

After downloading VS Code, double-click the ZIP file to extract the application. Then drag the VS Code icon to our Applications folder.

See setup instructions here under VS Code: Editors

Editor Fonts

The font that comes with VS Code is a good editor font. If you want to try an alternative font, we recommend hack. Hack is a typeface designed for reading and writing source code. This is not required, but can be a useful.

  • Mac Setup

brew cask install caskroom/fonts/font-hack

  • Windows Setup

See the setup instructions

  • Visual Studio Code:
    • Code Menu > Preferences > Settings > Editor Font Family > Type 'Hack' in the input box

Mac and Windows Specific Setup

Mac OS users continue here

Windows users continue here